Reach for the Sky

Miss Mpumalanga hopeful Thato Matšie is only twenty-years old and can already see herself walking out of the Ehlanzeni Conference Centre with the crown on April 13. She is competing against 13 other equally beautiful and gifted young women – all hoping to continue to represent Mpumalanga at the Miss South Africa pageant later this year.

“I started modelling in high school, winning both the Miss Valentine, Lehlasedi, Shatale and Mapulaneng school contests. I am currently with Select Modelling Agency in Rosebank and have attended Miss SA workshops. At the workshops it finally dawned on me that if I want to be at the top I need to start at the bottom”, Thato says.

She adds that contrary to her earlier perceptions of modelling, it is not as easy as it is made out to look. Thato says her view was broadened at realising that she needs to be informed about what is happening politically, be intelligent and have a brain to understand the challenges faced by young people in the country. “I want to use my participation in Miss Mpumalanga to bring hope to the people of Bushbuckridge as a whole, rural areas and teenagers who are at a disadvantage, especially those who feel that they don’t have hope. I want them to know they can make it in life. I want to be their role model” says this hip-hop sensation Rick Ross fan.

Thato also confesses her liking for Thandiswa Mazwai and says ‘Mazwai is real, a woman-and-a-half. I love her personality’.

The leggy lass aspire to open beauty spas and libraries throughout communities as her way of reaching out. She says women’s health and beauty should not be exclusive to the elite but should be as affordable as a Pap Smear. “I want to be Miss South Africa, own cars and houses. My two role models are my mother, Lebo and Sibongile Sambo, founder of SRS Aviation. She’s the first black woman to own an aviation company and school in Africa. She’s a strong woman who has done a lot and motivated me. She comes from my hometown too”, Thato says fondly. She is also a Flight Attendant student in Johannesburg.

Last weekend her charity donated 250 school uniforms, shoes and bags to Lehlasedi High School and Boikhutšo Primary School learners.

“I believe that our fashion industry in South Africa must integrate our ethnic designs and fabrics into what are globally big brands like Gucci. We need to promote Africa and be more innovative instead of just being consumers” she says about our fashion industry. Her love for women’s beauty is one of the reasons why she wants to study Somantology later in her twenties.

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